If you are accepted into our MS program, it is possible to transition into the PhD program. To make this transition, you must complete the following steps within 2.5 calendar years of beginning the MS program. Only after all steps are completed will you become a PhD candidate, so keep that in mind when planning when to file for the MS graduation. (That is, if you graduate before you have completed these steps, you may run into a situation where you cannot be hired by the department because you are no longer an MS student and not yet a PhD student.)
Steps 4 and 5 are typically combined into a single meeting where the masters defense serves as the PhD candidacy exam, with committees that overlap as much as possible.
Your PhD candidacy exam committee may accept your successfully-defended
Masters thesis as satisfying the PhD prospectus
requirement, or they may require a separate PhD prospectus defense. In
either case, you must submit a written PhD prospectus, approved by your
committee, after being admitted to candidacy.
To be considered for department financial support (tuition and stipend) after making this transition, you must notify the chair of the Department Graduate Committee by February 15 of your second year that you intend to transition.